TACLOBAN CITY – The region’s 100 millionth symbolic babies will turn five on Saturday(July 27) and much is expected on their overall development needs with the growing challenge to engage their families in their capacity to respond to these needs.
The Commission on Population and Development(Popcom) Regional Office VIII continues to monitor the status of these children as a reiteration of the agency’s advocacy through the years that every child should be born wanted, and basic rights on social services such as health and education are ensured for the child’s total development.
Aside from monitoring their overall status, Popcom-8 will likewise be providing them with school supplies and other basic necessities as they turn five years old this year.
Region 8 has six 100 millionth babies, Rian Go of Tacloban City; Miller Josh Tondo of Tanauan, Leyte; Catalea Blaire of San Juan, Southern Leyte; Sunrey Abonales of Catarman, Northern Samar; Jody Cervantes of Borongan City and Joven Rey Arsenio of Catbalogan City in Samar.
The birth of these symbolic babies in 2014 was considered a demographic event which was an institutional reality-check that the country was then registering a 100-million population record. The country’s population is estimated to reach 108,885,096 Filipinos by December 31, 2019 based on a 1.7% growth rate posted in the 2015 census by the Philippine Statistics Authority.
Also, the birth of these babies five years ago called for paying proactive attention to the importance of maternal and neonatal health as well as promote responsible parenthood and family planning among Filipino families. It was also seen as a challenge to the Philippines as its socio-economic and political situation struggle to give the citizenry a better quality of life.
This year’s birthday of the 100 millionth babies, carries the theme “Bigyang halaga ang bawat Pinoy sa Pag-unlad, Ngayon at Bukas. Sa Ikalimang Taon ni Baby, Pagtutulungan Tungo sa Maunlad at Malusog na Kinabukasan”.
Popcom VIII will also utilize a tool that will help determine the type of support that still needs to be extended to the symbolic babies and their respective families in the coming years.
The birth of the 100 millionth symbolic babies nationwide is still a challenge to the government as these babies are expected to demand an increase of the family’s capacity to provide for the needs of their children. The attainment of zero unmet need for modern family planning envisions to help millions of poor Filipino families achieve their desired family size through access to FP information and services.